Schellnhuber: West has exceeded [carbon] quotas

From The Reference Frame:

In his previous life, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber used to be a fairly good theoretical physicist. For example, he would solve the Schrödinger equation with an almost periodic potential in 1983. He has spent a year or so as a postdoc at KITP in Santa Barbara (1981-82).

But the times have changed. For a couple of years, he has been the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the main German government’s climate protection adviser. What he has just said for Spiegel, in

Industrialized nations are facing CO2 insolvency (click),

is just breathtaking and it helps me to understand how crazy political movements such as the Nazis or communists could have so easily taken over a nation that is as sensible as Germany. A few rotten steps in the hierarchy is enough for a loon to get to the very top. He is proposing the creation of a CO2 budget for every person on the planet, regardless whether they live in Berlin or Beijing. Let us allow him to speak:

Humankind has to limit itself to emit only fixed amount of carbon into the atmosphere until 2050. […] Because the industrialized nations have already exceeded their quotas if you take into account past emissions. […] With the current output you see that Germany, the US and other industrialized nations have either already used up their permissible quota, or will do so within the next few years. […]

The industrialized nations are facing CO2 insolvency. This means that they have to notch up their efforts to reduce climate change, otherwise they will use up the CO2 budget actually designated to poorer countries and future generations.

Question: So industrialized nations would have to pay massive sums of money?

Yes. Up to €100 billion ($142 billion) annually. If the richest sixth of the world’s population were to pay this amount, each person would have to pay €100 per year. The West would give back part of the wealth it has taken from the South in the past centuries and be indebted to countries that are now amongst the poorest in the world. It would, however, have to be ensured that the poorer nations use the money for the proposes it is intended — namely to help them to develop a greener economy.

Of course, Schellnhuber is not the first hardcore nutcase of this kind who has been saying such things, pretending that he is oh so smart. Many of you may remember Richard Feynman’s popular book, Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman, where he also described a crazy “interdisciplinary” conference where a similar “thinker” has been proposing the same “reparations” paid to the poor countries, based on the same assumptions that Mr Schellnhuber has used.

In order for me to save some time, let me just copy Feynman’s entertaining description of the crazy conference he attended in the 1950s. The amount and basic types of pompous fools haven’t changed: they have just taken over many institutions that apparently include the German government:

Read the rest:

http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/09/schellnhuber-west-has-exceeded-quotas.html

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